Young wines are produced in stainless steel vats and are designed to be fruity, expressive and consumed within a year or so of release. It’s this type of wine that is the motor behind Europe’s wine industry. Whilst wineries produce a limited number of ‘iconic’ wines, it is the other 95 percent of production, generally comprised of young wines, that keep the lights on.
Take the Garnatxa from Cellers de Scala Dei, for example. This is a wine to buy now and drink before the end of the year, rather than lay down in the cellar, and at€€10 or less it offers one of the best value options in the region. Agreeable and drinkable, some might dismiss it as uncomplicated, but for me it’s a perfect everyday wine that can be relied on year after year.
But head winemaker, Ricard Rofes, isn’t a one-trick pony; Scala Dei also produces high-end wines that show massive leaps in terms of elegant, quality old vines and refined ageing treatments. The 2010 RAR 4 shows exactly how you can take older Grenache vines, age them gently and end up with something refined and savoury beyond belief.
Cellers de Scala Dei Garnatxa 2015
A blend of nearly 100 percent Grenache with red cherry, redcurrant, raspberry and white pepper aromas that give way to refreshing acidity and juicy, mouthwatering fruit flavours. €10
RAR 4 2010
One hundred percent Grenache with prune, fig, dark cherry, vanilla, licorice, nutmeg and spices in the nose. Shows vanilla and fruit-driven notes in the body with both tannins and alcohol integrated wonderfully. €29
Miquel Hudin is a sommelier originally from California but now based in Barcelona. He founded the Vinologue series of wine books.